Competent Crew

The Competent Crew Course provides a progression from Start Yachting, although can also be undertaken by those with no or little experience at our accredited RYA centre

Competent Crew – RYA accredited course

Competent Crew

The Competent Crew Course provides a progression from Start Yachting, although can also be undertaken by those with no or little experience.  At the end of the course you will have an understanding of the role of crew on a yacht and have practical experience of all the jobs expected for you to become a safe, proactive and valuable member of the crew.

Pre-course experienceNone
Assumed knowledgeNone
Minimum duration5 Days
Minimum ageNone (under 16’s must be accompanied)
Course contentKnowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, her rigging and sails, sail handling, ropework, fire precautions and fighting, personal safety equipment, man overboard, emergency equipment, meteorology, seasickness, helmsmanship, general duties, manners and customs, rules of the road, dinghies

Start Yachting

We all have to start somewhere.  The Start Yachting Course provides a short introduction for novices to sail cruising.  At the end of the course you will have the knowledge to enable you to be safe on board and understand the basics of sailing and being a crew member.

Find out more about The RYA Start Yachting Course

Day Skipper

Skippering a yacht is a significant responsibility.  The course will help you develop skills and knowledge that will enable you to take a vessel to sea confidently and safely, ensuring the welfare of your crew and vessel on short passages in daylight hours.

Find out more about our RYA Day Skipper Course

Coastal Skipper

This course is for those with good knowledge of sailing and navigation (often gained through the RYA Coastal / Yachtmaster theory course) who wish to develop their skills and experience to undertake coastal passages during the day and night.

Find out more about our RYA Coastal Skipper course

Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore Preparation and Exam

This course is for those with considerable knowledge and experience of skippering vessels with significant sea time who wish to undertake the Certificate of Competence at Yachtmaster offshore or Coastal level.   The certificate of Competence allows candidates, should they wish, to apply for their certification to be “Commercially” endorsed enabling them to use their qualification professionally.  (This does have additional requirements which can be viewed here).

There is no formal syllabus for this course, but the five days of preparation will focus on areas that candidates identify through self-assessment.  The final two days will be spent with the examiner on board putting candidates through their paces.

The exam will include an assessment of your skippering skills, boat handling, general seamanship, navigation, safety awareness and knowledge of the IRPCS (collision regulations), meteorology and signals. You will be set tasks to demonstrate your ability and may also be asked questions on any part of the syllabus for all practical and shorebased courses up to Yachtmaster™ Coastal level.

The difference between the Coastal and Offshore Exam is in the complexity of tasks and situations candidates will be asked to perform.

Find out more about our Yachtmaster Coastal Exam Preparation Course

Find out more about our Yachtmaster Offshore Exam Preparation Course

Get in touch to find out more about our courses:

Competent Crew Syllabus

The Competent Crew course introduces the complete beginner to cruising and teaches personal safety, seamanship and helmsmanship to the level required to be a useful member of crew of a cruising yacht.

1. Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, her rigging and sails

Sufficient knowledge to understand orders given concerning the sailing and day to day running of the boat.

2. Sail Handling

Bending on, setting, reefing and handling of sails
Use of sheets and halyards and their associated winches

3. Ropework

Handling ropes, including coiling, stowing, securing to cleats and single and double bollards

Handling warps

Ability to tie the following knots and to know their correct use: figure-of-eight, clove hitch, rolling hitch, bowline, round turn and two half hitches, single and double sheet bend, reef knot

4. Fire precautions and fighting

Awareness of the hazards of fire and the precautions necessary to prevent fireb. Knowledge of the action to be taken in the event of fire

5. Personal safety equipment

Understands and complies with rules for the wearing of safety harnesses, lifejackets and personal buoyancy aids

6. Man overboard

Understands the action to be taken to recover a man overboard

7. Emergency equipment

Can operate distress flares and knows when they should be used
Understands how to launch and board a liferaft

8. Manners and customs

Understands accepted practice with regard to: use of burgees and ensigns, prevention of unnecessary noise or disturbance in harbour including courtesies to other craft berthed

Aware of the responsibility of yacht skippers to protect the environment

9. Rules of the road

Is able to keep and efficient lookout at sea

10. Dinghies

a. Understands and complies with the loading rules

b. Is able to handle a dinghy under oars

11. Meteorology

Awareness of forecasting services and knowledge of the Beaufort scale

12. Seasickness

Working efficiency is unaffected/partially affected/severely affected by seasickness

13. Helmsmanship and sailing

Understands the basic principles of sailing and can steer and trim sails on all points of sailing

Can steer a compass course, under sail and power

14. General duties

Has carried out general duties satisfactorily on deck and below decks in connection with the daily routine of the vessel.

Download the Competent Crew Syllabus as a pdf (opens in a new tab).

Terms & Conditions and Booking Forms to download

All forms and documents are Word documents

What our customers say

The 5 days that I spent with Tom was honestly one of the best sailing/learning experiences I have had. It has renewed my confidence and love for sailing and I look forward to doing more courses and spending more time on La Girafe III.

Craig Dutton

Coastal Skipper Certification, RYA

“I was made to feel very welcome right from the start. I would thoroughly recommend doing your Day Skipper with these guys, I not only really enjoyed the experience, I came ashore at the end desperate to book my next trip.”

Joe Halwood

Day Skipper, RYA Sailing Course

“The sailing was a real treat, including learning the key skills. As well as the great coastal scenery, there was also the various wildlife including lots of dolphins tracking the yacht, encountering other vessels (including a Royal Navy nuclear submarine).”

Gerry, Aberdeen

Competent Crew Certification, RYA